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Formosa Petrochemical announces fuel price hike for next week

2018/01/13 21:57:46

Taipei, Jan. 13 (CNA) Formosa Petrochemical Corp., a private fuel supplier in Taiwan, said Saturday it has decided to raise domestic gasoline and diesel prices for next week after international crude oil prices hit their highest in more than three years this week.

After crude oil prices in the U.S. market rose nearly 5 percent this week, the fifth consecutive weekly increase, amid reduced worries over a global supply glut, Formosa Petrochemical announced plans to raise gasoline prices by NT$0.2 (US$0.007) per liter and hike diesel prices by NT$0.3 per liter, effective from 1 a.m. Monday.

This is the fifth straight week Formosa Petrochemical has increased domestic fuel prices after a NT$0.2 per liter hike for both gasoline and diesel this week.

Once the adjustments come into effect, prices at Formosa Petrochemical gas stations islandwide will rise to NT$24.8 per liter for super diesel, NT$27.1 per liter for 92 octane unleaded, NT$28.5 per liter for 95 unleaded and NT$30.6 per liter for 98 unleaded, the company said.

A steeper than expected fall in crude inventories in the U.S. market in the week to Jan. 5 sent West Texas Intermediate crude futures on the New York market up 4.7 percent this week to a level unseen since early December 2014.

Brent crude, a global benchmark, also gained 3.3 percent on the London market this week to reach its highest since early December 2014.

According to a report released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), crude inventories in the U.S. market fell by nearly 5 million barrels last week, compared with an earlier market estimate of a drop of 3.9 million barrels, marking the eighth straight week levels have fallen.

Bitter weather caused by a strong cold spell in North America interrupted the production of some oil drillers in the U.S., which dragged down output in the country by about 290,000 barrels a day for the week, the EIA data showed.

As a result, the global energy market witnessed a hike in crude prices at a time when many energy traders felt relief over the supply side, market analysts said. With the rise in crude oil prices, Formosa Petrochemical's main competitor, state-owned CPC Corp. Taiwan, is likely on Sunday to announce similar price adjustments for next week, effective 12 hours later.

CPC calculates its weekly fuel prices based on a weighted oil price formula made up of 70 percent Dubai crude and 30 percent Brent crude.

Based on the latest fluctuations in international crude oil prices, CPC's average price of crude oil was calculated at US$66.99 per barrel as of Thursday, an increase of US$1.27 from a week earlier, according to its website.

(By Jiang Ming-yan and Frances Huang)